Honors Explorations Courses

Honors Explorations Courses

Honors explorations courses are topic-based general education courses taught by faculty in their particular areas of interest and expertise.  Honors students are required to complete three honors explorations courses in different areas.  Below is a list of upcoming course offerings.

Interim 2018 Honors offerings

HONR200: Reading and Writing Poetry with the U.S. Poet Laureates

Dr. Gwen Hart

Current U.S. Poet Laureate Tracey K. Smith says “poets are lucky” because they get to “witness the world through different kinds of eyes.” This class is your chance to discover contemporary poetry and to write your own poetry. Small groups will “adopt a poet” and provide context for the poet’s work. Selections will include U.S. Poet Laureates from a wide range of backgrounds and aesthetic sensibilities, such as bilingual California poet Juan Felipe Herrera, Nebraska poet Ted Kooser, and New England nature poet Mary Oliver. Writing activities will be invented by the professor and the students; the activities will spring from the variety of poems studied in class. Students will keep notebooks of poetic ideas and experiments. Based on the ideas in their notebooks, students will draft, workshop, and revise poems. Students will research publication opportunities for the poems they produce in class. The course will culminate in the creation of a class chapbook and a reading. No prior experience with poetry necessary.

Satisfies Fine Arts gen-ed

HONR222: The Kinsey Reports Now and Then: Biology and Social Science Examine Sex in America

Dr. Thomas Bonagura

This is a course to fulfill the Honors Program Exploration course in Science. The course will begin as an examination of the large scale surveys on American sexual behaviors conducted by Alfred Kinsey in 1948 and 1953 and the follow-up study from the Kinsey Institute at the University of Indiana in 2010, and the large spin-off studies of the last 3 years. The class will build upon that initial look at behaviors to introduce and explore many specific issues broadly related modern day American sexual culture. For example, two issues to be explored will be modern day relationships and sexual behavior and the second, the increased awareness or prevalence of transgender issues in society. From here, the class will reflect on the changes, or not, of the Kinsey reports that may be apparent to illuminate changes in the attitudes over sixty years. This will then be explored in depth in small research groups trying to find research evidence that can further help explain or understand the issue. Students will be learning to look for primary academic research, in this case both biology based and social science based, as well as other academic areas where appropriate and input from the lay press. For example, in looking at relationships information and research will focus on the change in the social power and standing of women from 1948 to 2010. One of the goals is to illustrate the differences between research in the academic disciplines, examine strength and weaknesses of the research and finally to see what gets distilled from the research to the popular press where often cultural norms are dictated. The research will be done in class, specifically for the purposes of class discussion. The class will operate with a simple introduction of the topic, followed by a set time for small group research, and concluded by a minimum of an hour of open discussion of the research and information regarding the topic. In addition, every student will be researching a topic on their own in further depth to culminate in a class presentation in the last two days. Grading will based on (in ascending order of importance) use of class research time to generate sources, participation in discussion and the final oral presentation.

Satisfies Life Sciences gen-ed